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Does anyone, more qualified than me, know exactly what the Church teaches in regards to evolution? This is an area that I have been struggling and understanding lately. As a Traditionalist I have often been skeptical about evolution in regards to any kind. However I have always allowed the possibility of certain types of evolutionary processes on a small scale. However I have often people talk about the difference between atheistic (Darwinian Evolution) and Theistic Evolution (Evolution guided by God) as well as of micro vs. macro evolution. In most regards I find myself quite ignorant in regards to this terminology and understanding between the difference of these things.

Earlier today I was reading a book on Aquinas by Edward Feser (A Thomistic Philosopher) and he gave the impression that certain forms of evolution are compatible with Catholic Teaching. I have once again always been under the impression that it is possible for certain evolutionary processes to in fact exist. However I decided do do some further research and I came across another of his articles.

http://edwardfeser.blogspot.com/2014/12/...-adam.html

I also decided to do some further research and I found several articles in general that expounded on Theistic Evolution. In addition to this I read Pope Pius XII's Humani Generis. I also came across an address by Pope Saint John Paul II given to an academy of sorts to scientists ( I only saw excerpts from this document). But the impression I got both from Feser's peace, as well as from some of the other articles, including these two papal documents, was that evolution (Theistic Evolution) was compatible with Catholic Teaching in regards to the non-negotiables in regards to human origins and Catholic Dogma as long as the following things were kept in mind 1) All created things have their creation in God 2) The human soul is directly created by God 3) Any source of evolutionary process is guided by Divine Providence. However I also got the impression from these things that it is possible that humans did in fact evolve from non-human ancestors such as apes, Neanthedrals and pre Homo Sapien forms of living individuals such as depicted in the common evolutionary pictures that we see about inschool such as the following:

[Image: 48d709558f5cf7ca81e02bd7c3720c7e.jpg]

Is this type of evolution really compatible with Catholic teaching? I really want to understand what the Church teaches in regards to evolution and how it differs from Darwinian evolution. Is it simply that Darwinian evolution believes that evolution was simply done by chance "atheistically?" and that Theistic evolution accepts this evolutionary beliefs but with God as a guiding force? Or is what the Church teaches regarding evolution completely different than this? I personally accept a more literal interpretation of Genesis given the belief that the human body has its direct creation in God from dust and things of that nature. But I just want to properly understand what the Church accepts in regards to evolution.
There is an excellent book called The Doctrines of Genesis Chapters 1-11 by a Catholic priest  Victor Warkulwiz that is extremely thorough. He goes point by point using the various teachings of the Church along with scholasticism to make the case for a more " creationist" view. To my knowledge it's about the ONLY Roman Catholic book on origins that's been written in recent times that tries to put together a coherent and traditional theology of creation. I urge you to read it if you're interested in this topic.


I tend to think theistic evolution, or reducing Gods action to simply infusing a soul into some humanoid ape creature to be laughable and a retreat into the " God of the gaps" so roundly criticized by the new atheists. I would hope the Catholic Church would have more to offer than a full scale acceptance of evolution with God thrown into the places that science doesn't understand for good measure.

At any rate, check out that book. Maybe if you're really interested I'll sell it, as I'm probably not going to read it again.
One Day Evolution and Heliocentrism will be shown to be the frauds they are and how "intellectuals" used them to undermine the Catholic Church ,God put in charge.
(07-18-2016, 06:14 PM)salus Wrote: [ -> ]One Day Evolution and Heliocentrism will be shown to be the frauds they are and how "intellectuals" used them to undermine the Catholic Church ,God put in charge.

Would you say these two are the crux of the atheistic attack on the Church that traditionalists perceive to be taking place?

(07-18-2016, 05:30 PM)ArturoOrtiz Wrote: [ -> ]I personally accept a more literal interpretation of Genesis given the belief that the human body has its direct creation in God from dust and things of that nature. But I just want to properly understand what the Church accepts in regards to evolution.

I would strongly suggest that, before you delve into whether theistic evolution is or is not acceptable and compatible with Catholic teaching, that you ruminate upon the logical implications of a literal interpretation of Genesis.
The Church says that we are allowed to believe in biological evolution as long as we believe that the process is guided by God. We are allowed to believe that man's body evolved from apes, again by divine providence, but we still must believe that his spirit is created directly by God and is not attributable to evolution nor heredity. We are prohibited from denying the existence of Adam & Eve and the Fall and believing instead in a pool of first parents. We are allowed to believe that their bodies were the result of evolution, but we must still believe that they were the first and the only first parents of all humans today. Here is a link to an article that might help you: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/adam-eve-and-evolution

I suppose atheistic evolution is believing in evolution but denying that God had any part in it and that God is not the Creator of the universe and all living things while theistic evolution is believing in what the Church permits us to believe as I spoke of above. Theistic evolution is essentially believing in the theory of evolution as developed by Darwin, it's just believing that it doesn't happen without the guidance of God. Microevolution is minor evolutionary changes within a species while macroevolution is major evolutionary changes in & between species, at least from what I can tell.

Personally, I believe that Adam & Eve were created as  told in the Book of Genesis and that the apes that looked like they are our evolutionary ancestors were made by God to show us how we would be had He not given us a spirit. I actually got this from an old catechism. I do believe, however, that the beasts of the earth were created through evolution. Evolution is still happening to this day.
I think it'd be scientifically illiterate to deny the mechanisms of evolution (see below). They're scientific fact. But believing that those mechanisms are solely responsible for the biological diversity we see is something I don't buy.

I "believe in evolution" insofar as I believe in the mechanisms of evolution, but I don't believe all life we see on earth emerged from one primordial biological entity (or a handful of spontaneously-arising such entities) that used to be a non-biological entity (which itself, ultimately, came from nothing and without God).

Me, I think the Book of Genesis lays out the timeline of things, but likely metaphorically (e.g., maybe "a day" means a million years). And I believe God created man's soul directly (and that He still does). Whether He used the "dust of the ground" where some other sort of hominid's bones lay or something -- could be.



The mechanisms of evolution:


Natural Selection, including sexual selection -  the process by which genetic mutations that enhance reproduction and delay death become more common in a population.


Random mutation - exactly what it says:  a mutation of some aspect of an organism due to things like disease, etc. Most random mutations are not selected for.


Genetic drift: -  From Wikipedia: The process of genetic drift can be illustrated using 20 marbles in a jar to represent 20 organisms in a population. Consider this jar of marbles as the starting population. Half of the marbles in the jar are red and half blue, and both colors correspond to two different alleles of one gene in the population. In each new generation the organisms reproduce at random. To represent this reproduction, randomly select a marble from the original jar and deposit a new marble with the same color as its "parent" into a new jar. (The selected marble remains in the original jar.) Repeat this process until there are 20 new marbles in the second jar. The second jar then contains a second generation of "offspring," consisting of 20 marbles of various colors. Unless the second jar contains exactly 10 red marbles and 10 blue marbles, a random shift occurred in the allele frequencies.

Repeat this process a number of times, randomly reproducing each generation of marbles to form the next. The numbers of red and blue marbles picked each generation fluctuates: sometimes more red, sometimes more blue. This fluctuation is analogous to genetic drift – a change in the population's allele frequency resulting from a random variation in the distribution of alleles from one generation to the next.

It is even possible that in any one generation no marbles of a particular color are chosen, meaning they have no offspring. In this example, if no red marbles are selected the jar representing the new generation contains only blue offspring. If this happens, the red allele has been lost permanently in the population, while the remaining blue allele has become fixed: all future generations are entirely blue. In small populations, fixation can occur in just a few generations.


Genetic Draft (or "Genetic Hitchhiking") -  changes in the frequency of an allele because of linkage with a positively or negatively selected allele at another locus. Ex. small pinky toes are genetically associated with strong muscles, but aren't selected for per se. But strong muscles are selected for, so succeeding generations will have strong muscles and small pinky toes.


Gene flow - Gene flow involves the exchange of genes between populations and between species. Any two completely isolated populations will eventually evolve genetic incompatibilities through neutral processes, as in the Bateson-Dobzhansky-Muller model, even if both populations remain essentially identical in terms of their adaptation to the environment.

If genetic differentiation between populations develops, gene flow between populations can introduce traits or alleles which are disadvantageous in the local population and this may lead to organisms within these populations evolving mechanisms that prevent mating with genetically distant populations, eventually resulting in the appearance of new species.



I admit to loving this video:


And these two:





Darwin's entire family (although I'm not sure about him) were masons. He was also surrounded by lots of masons throughout his life.

The idea that the whole evolution science is put forth by the masonic influence to destroy religion and especially Catholicism is something to think about.

In any sense, I think that the Church allows one to believe in it as long as you still come to the conclusion that it was guided by God and that the genesis of humanity was still a single pair of humans (one male & one female).
Man's body was formed from the slime of the earth and then God breathed a soul into it, but how God shaped the slime to it's final form doesn't seem to me to be a dogmatic question.

I've said this before, but personally I like one of the acceptable explanations St. Augustine put forward in "The Literal Meaning of Genesis."  In Book 6 on the creation of man, he explains the idea that the six days represent not literal days, but a scheme or plan of creation--the days are just a symbolic ordering. The actual creation during those “days” was instantaneous, but of everything in potency and causation, not necessarily their final visible form.  The final forms would be shaped later over time, just as God continues today to shape mountains and rivers and new life, etc. For example, St. Augustine places the actual formation of man’s body after the seventh day:


St. Augustine Wrote:There can be no doubt, then, that the work whereby man was formed from the slime of the earth and a wife fashioned for him from his side belongs not to that creation by which all thing were made together, after completing which, God rested, but to that work of God which takes place with the unfolding of the ages as He works even now.

This explanation works perfectly with the theories of the Big Bang and evolution, as well as giving a reason for why there are two separate creation accounts of man in Scripture: one for the scheme in potency and one for man's actual formation.
(07-19-2016, 10:06 AM)GangGreen Wrote: [ -> ]The idea that the whole evolution science is put forth by the masonic influence to destroy religion and especially Catholicism is something to think about.

This sounds like a conspiracy theory.  Is there any evidence to suggest that this is more than a conspiracy theory?
(07-19-2016, 12:26 PM)Melkite Wrote: [ -> ]
(07-19-2016, 10:06 AM)GangGreen Wrote: [ -> ]The idea that the whole evolution science is put forth by the masonic influence to destroy religion and especially Catholicism is something to think about.

This sounds like a conspiracy theory.  Is there any evidence to suggest that this is more than a conspiracy theory?

I don't know about any conspiracy behind the invention of the theory of evolution in the Darwinian sense, but I do think there's a "conspiracy" going on to present the "man from slime" view of the world as established scientific fact when it isn't. And I don't see anything unscientific whatsoever in presenting the "theory" that the world "could" be designed -- but also that's as far as science can go with it. I don't see intelligent design per se as being "unscientific" and think it's vile that the very notion is mocked out of science classrooms.
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